Team Raff

Team members

Paul Raff, Artist and Architect, Paul Raff Studio Incorporated
Michael A. Ormston-Holloway, Designer and Certified Arborist, The Planning Partnership
Brett Hoornaert, Landscape Architect, The Planning Partnership
Luke Kairys, Landscape Architect, The Planning Partnership

Design intent

Arc of Memory is a dynamic living calendar, designed to capture the many, many moments of suffering and injustice to be commemorated, in solace and in gratitude.

Over 4000 bronze rods are arranged along 365 slender posts, each one pointing at a unique angle of the sun, for every hour of every day, across a year. The memorial is divided in the middle at the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, inviting visitors to step through in a metaphorical journey from darkness and oppression to lightness and liberty.

At a distance, the sculptural array of bronze rods expresses the vastness of the suffering of individuals under communist regimes. Up close, the memorial invites visitors to reflect on their own experiences.

Ultimately the memorial invites people to bring forth their own ideas and thoughts, to walk their own path and recognize each other in a free and welcoming country.

Transcript of the Memorial to victims of communism: Team Raff video

The visual elements described in this video are in 3D animation.

[Text on screen:
Team Raff
Paul Raff Studio
The Planning Partnership
Memorial to the Victims of Communism
Canada, Land of Refuge]

[Artist and architect Paul Raff shown seated against a dark background]

Paul Raff: “Our design for the memorial would honour the 8 million Canadians who can trace their origins to countries that suffered under oppressive regimes of communism by creating an instrument of memory.”

“My name’s Paul Raff. I’m an artist and the lead architect.

“To honour such a wide range of experiences, we would create a memorial that commemorates all of the potential moments of the victims of communism. So our concept is to create a three-dimensional calendar.”

[Rotating views of the Memorial design featuring two gently curving wall-like metal frames totalling 21 metres in length and almost 4 metres in height. The two walls support over 4000 short bronze rods densely arranged into a dozen rows that pierce through the walls at various angles]

Paul Raff: “Over 4000 bronze rods would be arranged along 365 stainless steel fins, each one pointing at a unique angle of the sun, for every hour of every day, across a year. The memorial would be split in the middle at winter solstice, the darkest day of the year, inviting visitors to step through in a metaphorical journey from darkness and oppression to lightness and liberty.”

[Paul Raff seated with his back to the camera sketching the Memorial design]

Paul Raff: “From a distance, the overwhelming number of bronze rods would express the vastness of the suffering of individuals under communist regimes. Up close, the memorial invites visitors to reflect on their own experiences.”

[Several visitors are shown looking at the Memorial which is set on a limestone plinth that can be accessed from the forecourt]

Paul Raff: “Ultimately the memorial invites people to bring forth their own ideas and thoughts, to walk their own path and recognize each other in a free country. Here, everyone is welcome to flourish.”

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